NCAA Basketball Picks: Florida vs. Texas A&M

Joe Freda

Thursday, January 17, 2013 1:30 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 1:30 PM UTC

The No. 10 Florida Gators have cashed with a 3-0 spread record since the start of January, cruising as double-digit ‘chalk’ each time out. But are they a wise choice for our free picks in this one?

Thursday Hoops: No. 10 Florida visits Texas A&M 

Billy Donovan’s squad continues Southeastern Conference play with Thursday’s matchup against the Texas A&M Aggies, who are 3-0 ATS in their trio of home dates. Can the Aggies collect again in College Station or will the Gators stay hot?

Gators, Boynton spank LSU

Florida’s latest triumph came with Saturday’s 74-52 victory as an 11-point road favorite against the LSU Tigers. The Gators held LSU to 32.3 percent field shooting, while outrebounding the Tigers, 49-34.

Gators guard Kenny Boynton drilled 4-of-8 buckets beyond the arc, finishing with a team-high 20 points. Florida’s Will Yeguete notched 10 points and a season-high 13 boards, picking up his second double-double of the year.

The lopsided contest’s combined 126 points dipped below the ‘total’ of 136, ending a 4-0 run for the OVER in the Gators’ prior four matchups. Florida hit 10-of-17 free throws, while Gators forward Erik Murphy logged his side’s sole block.

Aggies, Turner stun Kentucky

Texas A&M lit up the Kentucky Wildcats in Saturday’s 83-71 win, cashing as a 15-point road dog. The Aggies connected from the floor at a 52.5 percent clip, including a 9-for-19 day from three-point land.

Aggies guard Elston Turner piled in 40 points, while uniting with mate Jordan Green for four assists each. Texas A&M’s Kourtney Roberson grabbed a team-high nine boards, leading the Aggies to outrebound Kentucky, 32-27.

The shocking 154 points soared OVER the ‘total’ of 127, with both squads combining to sink 29-of-40 free throws. Aggies freshman Fabyon Harris reached double figures for a fourth straight game, finishing with 14 points.

Back A&M as a home dog

NCAA basketball betting odds opened Florida as a 9 ½-point road favorite, while first listing the ‘total’ at 122 ½. Gators guard Mike Rosario (12.3 PPG) missed Saturday’s affair for his squad with an ankle sprain, but is “probable” to return here.

I am taking the points in this match-up, adding the Aggies to my college basketball betting ticket as home dogs. Texas A&M continues to be undervalued by the oddsmakers, going 4-1 ATS in its last five spots against teams with winning records.

Turner’s big day against Kentucky lifted the senior to 17.1 PPG for the season, ranking fourth in the SEC for scoring. Aggies guard Alex Caruso ranks in the conference’s top five for steals (1.9 SPG), while he and his mates are atop their rivals in three-point shooting (38.9 percent).

Florida has been on a tear in conference play, but faces a taller order here in College Station. Texas A&M comes in looking to avenge last December’s 84-64 road thrashing against the Gators, who put the matchup out of reach early with a 50-25 halftime lead.

The Aggies should have enough depth for a closer rematch on their home floor, where Turner and Co. have held foes to 57.5 PPG. Look for Texas A&M to collect here, adding another cashed sports picks ticket to its 8-2 spread record in its most recent 10 spots against SEC foes.


College Basketball Free Picks: Texas A&M +9 ½ (

Check out Jeff Grants free picks on the Michigan vs. Minnesota game & Pac 12 action.

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